Though Glendale High’s boys’ tennis team finished in a tie for second place in the Pacific League with Crescenta Valley, it advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs as the league’s second seed due to a head-to-head tiebreaker based on sets won.
But all the good fortune of getting a second-place nod quickly went the wayside Monday afternoon when playoff pairings were announced and the Nitros’ second-place reward was a lengthy road trip north to face Santa Barbara, a co-league champion of the Channel League.
The Dons swept through the singles bracket and defeated the Nitros, 14-4.
Glendale wrapped up its season at 12-5, but Nitros Coach Bob Davidson was hardly dismayed after his team turned in quite a turnaround season.
“I’m very pleased with our season,” Davidson said. “Last year, where everything went wrong for us and we didn’t make playoffs for the first time in a very long time, to come all the way back and get second place, I think was a really big accomplishment.”
Santa Barbara, the No. 2 seed out of the Channel League after sharing the league title, improved to 14-3 on its way to Friday’s second round.
“They’re just very solid, they’re solid all the way through the lineup,” Davidson said.
Glendale’s wins all came in doubles.
“We got beat up in singles, that was the big difference,” Davidson said. “Our doubles actually played really well.”
Mike Akopians and David Ismailian tallied a pair of 6-4 wins for the Nitros, while David Casaburi and Maher Krikorian teamed up for a 6-3 win and Artiom Ambartsoumian and Matt Davidian scored a 6-4 victory.
The Pacific League, in general, has struggled mightily thus far in Division I.
Hoover, which took fourth in league, lost in the wild-card round to Northwood on Tuesday, 16-2. Crescenta Valley, consequently, took on the Channel League’s top seed, Dos Pueblos, on Wednesday and lost, 15-3.
“Hopefully we’ll be put back in Division II where we belong next year,” Davidson said.